IMHO, we had an extra tough time selecting which stories to include in the issue because we had a lot of strong finalists. I thought I'd pass along some discussion points for your consideration. At Electric Spec we really like unique stories. This means your story will have a better chance with us if it has a different take or unusual twist in it. Try to subvert our expectations. For instance, if a man falls in love with a ghost woman, you might expect the problem would be that the love-interest is a ghost; but what if that's not the problem? One clever way to create something unique is to combine multiple genres, for example, zombies and artificial intelligence. I think you get the idea. The bottom line is if two somewhat similar stories are in final contention and one has a unique twist and one doesn't ==> we pick the unique one.
The second issue that was a deciding factor at the recent meeting was: does the protagonist act to solve his/her/its problem? (Notice this means the protagonist has a problem.) In other words, the main character has to do something to change his/her/its circumstances. For example, if evil robots are running rampant across the countryside killing everyone and the protagonist is saved when they're cut down by a virus --> not great. On the other hand, if evil robots are running rampant across the countryside killing everyone and the protagonist tries to lure them away from a settlement to save the people there ==> very nice. Especially if you add in a unique twist like the protagonist is a little girl and some other stuff...
I think you get the idea here, too.
As you may have gleaned, we have some great stories for the awesome August issue. Stay tuned this month for more info!